Friends are Chosen Family 10


2-Day Texas Brisket

2-Day Texas Brisket

As I looked around the dinner table last night, I breathed in the moment; I felt happy and blessed. We were a table of six, with our hosts, who prepared the feast as a raffle prize, joining us at the end which rounded us out to eight friends enjoying food, wine, and lively conversation.

The concept for “Table for Two” was cooked up by the ardent supporters of Animales Atenas, a group of dedicated volunteers who help abandoned and abused animals. The idea is for the cooks to donate meals which they prepare at their own expense. The expat community in Atenas is blessed with talented people who have multiple skills they developed in their previous lives. We have chefs, former restaurant owners, and some darn good cooks who grew up in Italian families preparing meals that are better than what is served in most restaurants. Raffle tickets are purchased and the buyer specifies which meal they want to bid on.

I hated missing the kick-off party, titled: First Annual Wine & Chocolate Party – two of my favorite things. Plus it took place at one of my favorite spots where I live in Atenas, Costa Rica, Poco Cielo, a beautiful mini-resort.

Since the event was happening while I was traveling in California, I thought the least I could do was contribute some cash. The funny part is I accidentally donated twice. I cracked up when the organizer sent me the second thank you e-mail! I thought the first attempt didn’t go through so I hit the “donate” button again. That’s what you get for maneuvering online while sipping chardonnay. I must say, in retrospect, it was one of the best mistakes I ever made!

Not only that, I didn’t understand the rules about placing bids to compete for the various prizes. I still don’t. All I know is I won the Texas Barbecue for six! Plus, the generous hosts said we could dine in their rancho (outdoor party area with a roof) and enjoy the feast there. Most of the dinners were delivered to the homes of the winners to enjoy in their own homes. But Pat and John went the extra mile and had us to their home.

Our little band of merry-makers marched in to a beautifully set table, complete with cloth napkins, romantic lighting just the right music playing at just the right volume.
Because I hit the button twice, it kicked me up into the category of “free dessert”. So a home-made carrot cake followed our Texas Barbecue dinner with all the trimmings. There is nothing better than home-made carrot cake. I should know I have cooked my fair share of them. Some of you may know, I made a huge amount of carrot cake for my son’s recent wedding. It was after that endeavor that I hung up my cake pans. From now on, I’m only eating OPCs (other people’s cakes).

As I looked around the dinner table last night, I breathed in the moment; I felt happy and blessed. We were a table of six, with our hosts, who prepared the feast as a raffle prize, joining us at the end which rounded us out to eight friends enjoying food, wine, and lively conversation.

The concept for “Table for Two” was cooked up by the ardent supporters of Animales Atenas, a group of dedicated volunteers who help abandoned and abused animals. The idea is for the cooks to donate meals which they prepare at their own expense. The expat community in Atenas is blessed with talented people who have multiple skills they developed in their previous lives. We have chefs, former restaurant owners, and some darn good cooks who grew up in Italian families preparing meals that are better than what is served in most restaurants. Raffle tickets are purchased and the buyer specifies which meal they want to bid on.

I hated missing the kick-off party, titled: First Annual Wine & Chocolate Party – two of my favorite things. Plus it took place at one of my favorite spots where I live in Atenas, Costa Rica, Poco Cielo, a beautiful mini-resort.

Since the event was happening while I was traveling in California, I thought the least I could do was contribute some cash. The funny part is I accidentally donated twice. I cracked up when the organizer sent me the second thank you e-mail!  I thought the first attempt didn’t go through so I hit the “donate” button again. That’s what you get for maneuvering online while sipping chardonnay. I must say, in retrospect, it was one of the best mistakes I ever made!

Not only that, I didn’t understand the rules about placing bids to compete for the various prizes. I still don’t. All I know is I won the Texas Barbecue for six! Plus, the generous hosts said we could dine in their rancho (outdoor party area with a roof) and enjoy the feast there. Most of the dinners were delivered to the homes of the winners to enjoy in their own homes. But Pat and John went the extra mile and had us to their home.

Speaking of going the extra mile, as we made the turn on the road we thought was correct, went over the three speed humps described in the explicit directions, as we were about to make the final turn into what we thought was the driveway, was John holding a flashlight to guide us to the party.

Our little band of merry-makers marched in to a beautifully set table, complete with cloth napkins, romantic lighting just the right music playing at just the right volume.

Because I hit the button twice, it kicked me up into the category of  “free dessert”. So a home-made carrot cake followed our Texas Barbecue dinner with all the trimmings. There is nothing better than home-made carrot cake. I should know. I have cooked my fair share of them. Some of you may know, I made a huge amount of carrot cake for my son’s recent wedding. It was after that endeavor that I hung up my cake pans. From now on, I’m only eating OPCs (other people’s cakes).

For sure, next year, when “Table for Two” has their second annual kick-off, I will be there! And I will bid on the Wegners’ Texas Barbecue. I would love to invite the same friends that attended last evening; those friends are family!

Oh, and by the way … don’t believe I will never make another cake. You come on-a my house, I’m bakin’!

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake


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